Fellowship Reflections

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

This summer I worked with the Coral Reefs of the High Seas project which is funded by Conservation International. I spent most of my time researching and organizing historical data for a paper titled “The hidden landscape: maritime cultural heritage of the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges with implications for conservation on the high seas”. This paper is pending publication in the Marine Policy journal.

Outside of this larger project, I worked on communications documents to communicate the information of the paper to the public. I wrote a factsheet summarizing the main points of the paper.

Additionally, I researched and compiled relevant papers for another publishable paper on biological connectivity through the Salas y Gómez and Nazca Ridges. I created a repository of key quotes from important papers to add to the literature review. I am currently still working on this paper.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally?

My work with the Coral Reefs of the High Seas team was incredibly rewarding and interesting. I learned about high seas policy and the current state of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction agreement. I also learned about a region of the world that I was mostly unfamiliar with, the waters off of Chile and Peru, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

It was very rewarding to work with my fellowship advisor Dr. Daniel Wagner. He is a pleasure to work with and always took the time to meet with me and answer my questions. I would be happy to work with him on future projects and plan to stay in touch. I never thought I would focus on high seas policy but I’m happy I did, it is an interesting and evolving field of study!

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

I learned that I can work effectively while living in a beautiful place full of distractions! I did my summer fellowship from Kauai, HI and while there was a lot of great hiking, snorkeling, and diving to distract me, I got my work done for this project and I’m proud of what I produced.

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